I did not have an easy childhood. While growing up, I was extremely confused about who I was. I was subjected to ridicule and bullying from a very young age due to my effeminate traits. I was called derogatory colloquial names. I tried the hardest to change myself in order to fit in with the society, but it did not help me in any way. However, I did know that I am different from the others.
This made me question my identity. Why was I like this? Why only me? I did not know anybody else around me who looked or behaved like me. All the films and TV shows I watched, all the stories I heard, none of them had characters who I could resonate with. All of this had a major impact on my mental health. I went into a shell and became an introvert. My home became my world as I used to stay indoors most of the time, confined to my room.
It was then when I decided to channel all the energy into my academics. I concentrated only on my studies and worked extremely hard every year. I finished school with flying colors as I passed my exams with Distinction. I decided to study medicine as I want to become a dentist.
Path To Self Discovery
I moved out of my house to go to medical college in Thiruvananthapuram. It felt like a new beginning for me after 18 years of turmoil that I went through. During these years, I started to understand myself better. Slowly and steadily, I realised who I was. I got to meet many people who were like me and shared the same ideologies. Living in the big city, they were independent, happy and proud of who they were. Their mindset was inspirational. I used social media to express myself and my identity. More people connected with me. I sympathised with many as well who were in same situation as me.
At the age of 19, I decided to come out as a transgender person. I felt extremely comfortable after doing this. However, the path ahead was tough. People around me became hesitant. They hardly made any effort to interact with me. This, in turn, made me uncomfortable. I did not talk to them because I did not want to bother them. I was only 'accepted' when I told them that I was a transgender doctor. I find this unfair. Our gender identity is our right to be whoever we want to be and no one should be judged on the basis of that. This community has an extra burden to prove themselves to the world. We also deserve to live a life of dignity, without any judgments and inhibitions.
This made me do a lot of work towards sensitisation and raising awareness about us. I started a support group called 'Queerythm' that could be a safe space for the LGBTQIA+ community. I wrote on topics such as Gender, Sexuality, etc, and shared them on my social media handles. Along with this, I I was one of the organisers of Kerala pride 2018.
Making A Difference For The Community
As of now, I am in my final year of dentistry. Also, I am preparing to give the UPSC examination. I want to make a difference for my community on an administrative level. A lot of initiatives have been introduced by the government but none of them are inclusive in nature.
Our bureaucrats are not aware about the non-binary or gender neutral identities. Therefore, their decisions may not be catering to everyone as they are mostly heteronormative. In order to bring about an inclusive approach, there should be someone who is non-binary in the bureaucracy to make it happen. This is why I wanted to give the civil services exam a shot. My wish is to be in a decision-making position and do something for my community and for the country.
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